Attaining the NCRW Certification
The following steps outline the process for attaining the NCRW certification. (NOTE: You must be a member of The NRWA to earn the certification.)
1. Submit a sample resume and cover letter ($75 fee) to the CE Admin Manager. To prepare your sample, download and study the NCRW Study Guide (member login required). The Study Guide contains an overview of resume writing guidelines, and your samples will be evaluated against these standards. You can pay your $75 sample submission fee by registering here. Your submission should contain:
One NCRW grader will review your samples using the same criteria used when grading NCRW exams. Within 2-3 weeks, you will receive written feedback and an invitation to schedule a phone call to answer questions or clarify any suggestions. While the sample submission process is not limited to members pursuing certification, part of the feedback is a “Ready” or “Not Ready” recommendation to help you determine if you are ready to take the NCRW Exam. A “Ready” recommendation will award you 1 CE, and you may earn up to 2 CEs through sample submissions.
Important: A “Ready” recommendation is not required to move on to the NCRW Exam. However, some writers may find it helpful to submit multiple samples ($75 fee for each submission).
2. Report 10 Continuing Education (CE) units that you have earned to the CEU Admin Manager. (CEs expire after 3 years, so you must earn 10 CEs within the 3 years prior to taking the NCRW Exam. Any CEs earned more than 3 years ago do not qualify.) There are many ways to obtain approved CEs.
3. Complete the two-part NCRW Exam. Once you have submitted at least one sample and documented 10 CEs, you may take the exam. When you are ready to begin, pay the $250 exam fee by registering here. Contact the CEU Admin Manager to schedule the exam, which consists of:
If you fail Part 1 of the exam, you must wait 30 days to retake it ($50.00 fee). If you do not pass, we strongly recommend that you take a grammar course.If you fail Part 2 of the exam, you must wait 30 days to retake it ($150.00 fee).
NCRWs are required to earn 15 CEs every three years and maintain continuous membership with The NRWA.
Not a member? Start the certification process by joining The NRWA!
"Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Yes. In the words of Tom Hanks, ‘If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. It’s the hard that makes it great.’ "
"A member of The NRWA for two years and a higher education career counselor for 10+ years, I had helped thousands of students with career planning and resumes. I was an exceptional counselor and resume writer… or so I thought. I had no fear and knew I would pass the NCRW review. Sadly, I was wrong. The graders’ comments were honest yet heartfelt, as I knew they wanted me to pass.
Not one to accept failure, I called the President of The NRWA who encouraged me to reach out to the Certification Chair and members of the Certification Commission. An NCRW offered to mentor me, I attended the next conference, and took advantage of multiple training opportunities.
Certification has given me the confidence to start a small resume writing business, to accept a contract to train employment specialists at the Job Service and Montana Department of Labor, to submit my work for publication in books by industry experts, and to have more faith in my own abilities."
- Cheryl Minnick, NCRW